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Elysian Fields Elementary School Para-Professional Tiffany Lawless checks the temperature of students on the first day of school in August.

ELYSIAN FIELDS — Elysian Fields Elementary School went all virtual on Monday after a couple of staff members contracted COVID-19, Elysian Fields ISD Superintendent Maynard Chapman said in a letter to parents.

“We understand many of you have lots of questions and we do understand,” Chapman said in a letter on Monday. “Currently, there are two confirmed positive staff cases of COVID-19 at the elementary school. Based upon contact tracing, we do not believe students were in close contact with either individual, but we do suspect multiple staff members were in close contact to both individuals. Therefore, it was in the best interest of all faculty and students to close the elementary campus.”

The campus will remain closed until after the Thanksgiving break. Students will learn virtually from now until the start of Thanksgiving break on Nov. 23.

Though the district has only had seven cases of COVID-19, only one of which involved a student, since the start of school in August, district officials thought it necessary to close the elementary campus as a precaution.

“During our suspension of operations, student learning continues to be a priority at Elysian Fields ISD,” he said. “While the health and safety of our students, staff, and community remain our top priority, we also want to help our students to extend their learning as much as they can until school can resume after Thanksgiving break.”

The elementary students will be assigned activities by their teachers via Google Classroom or SeeSaw, Chapman said. Assignments will be out by 8 a.m. each school day beginning today.

“Students should be familiar with the virtual learning platforms. Teachers have been using them at school with the students,” Chapman said.

For students who do not have access to the internet, paper packets will be available for pick up from the elementary campus via a drive through system at 4 p.m. each afternoon. Packets will be required to be turned in for a grade when school resumes after Thanksgiving break.

“Teachers will be scheduling live lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a scheduled time to cover concepts with students,” Chapman said. “There will be asynchronous activities provided daily. Also, they will provide their scheduled conference time so you may contact them with questions or if your child needs assistance. Teachers will record attendance daily.”

“We understand the timing was not ideal for us to be able to make this announcement, but we had to make this decision based on what we feel is most safe for the students and staff at Elysian Fields Elementary School,” Chapman said. “Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and understanding during this time. Every decision made is based upon what is best for students.”